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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


HOW TO create your own IE8 Accelerator

Roughly a year after it has been in Beta, IE8 was released last week. It is more standards compliant than the versions before it. This is good news for web developers as they won't have to write browser specific code. IE8 also introduces new features like Accelerators and Web Slices that will surely interest web developers.

Accelerators are XML files that let you act on data in a web page by interacting with web services. It is more direct than using a search provider which again does not adapt to all scenarios. Accelerators appear in the context menu. Although it may look a little daunting at first, it is simple to create and deploy as it all it takes is filling up an XML template (borrowed from a MSDN code sample). The OpenService Accelerators Developer Guide explains what the elements & attributes of the Accelerator XML file mean.

I prefer previewing PDF & Word files in web pages that I surf instead of opening them directly. Google Search & GMail have a way to preview PDF & Word files as HTML but otherwise there is no direct way to view them as HTML. For such tasks, the Online Viewer from Samuraj Data has been my Man Friday. I've now created an Accelerator called "ViewAsHTML with Samuraj Data" that will convert a PDF or Word file link on a web page to HTML in a single step. I have jotted down the steps required to build this Accelerator in an article. Read it or install the Accelerator and try it out yourself. I would love to hear any feedback.

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